Pechanga Resort Casino announced a new head chef for its signature restaurant, the Great Oak Steakhouse. Pechanga leadership promoted from within for this elite position. Chef Jose Mendoza comes from the resort/casino’s California bistro dining outlet, the Lobby Bar & Grill, added in 2018.
The Great Oak Steakhouse is the premier, upscale dining outlet at the largest resort/casino on the West Coast. Chef Jose Mendoza will lead the AAA Four Diamond rated restaurant, equipped with an extensive wine list recognized by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.
Chef Jose Mendoza offers more than 12 years of professional cooking and leadership experience in restaurants. He worked in Pechanga’s culinary team back in 2012, though left for Las Vegas to achieve a broader set of experiences in restaurants and hospitality.
“I worked at Pechanga’s old Seafood Grotto restaurant as the grill cook and my goal was to become the main grill cook at The Great Oak Steakhouse,” said Mendoza. “But then I left for Vegas. When I came back and worked as the Lobby Bar & Grill chef, my new goal was to become the chef for the steakhouse chef. I’m finally doing what I love in one of the best restaurants in Temecula.”
He has spent time in the local culinary scene, as well as some of the most well-known resort/casino restaurants in Las Vegas. He worked in the Sage at the Aria, he worked under top chefs at Michael Mina inside the Bellagio and was even the executive chef of Hank’s Fine Steak & Martinis at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nev.
Before the opening of Pechanga’s Lobby Bar & Grill, Chef Jose Mendoza was wooed from a popular Las Vegas resort to open the new Lobby Bar & Grill restaurant as part of Pechanga’s $300 million expansion in 2018, where he created an entirely new menu. His extraordinary culinary talents soon shined for executives and guests alike. When the opening presented itself, he was the obvious choice to be tapped for the big responsibility of running the Great Oak Steakhouse’s food offerings and now adds hints of his creative whimsy to the traditional steakhouse.
“One of my biggest rewards working here has been being able to continue to create and cook great food to make our guests happy, as there is no greater feeling when someone says that this has been the best meal they have ever had,” said Mendoza.